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Buddha in the mist.

It's been many years since my last visit to Lantau Island,  Hong Kong,  and its famous Giant or Tian Tan Buddha,  the world’s largest outdoor bronze statue.   That previous visit was during the middle of the calendar year,  temperatures were high and visibility good,  quite a contrast to this visit. A cable car ride,  which is impressive in itself,  takes you to the Ngong Ping area where in addition to the Buddha is the Po Lin Monastery along with the usual array of souvenir stores and coffee shops etc.

Pai Lau, the gateway to the Bodhi Path
Pai Lau, the gateway to the Bodhi Path

Very foggy conditions,  visibility at times was about 30-40 metres making the scene indeed "atmospheric".

The steps to the giant Buddha
The steps to the giant Buddha

A flight of 268 steps leads to the world’s largest outdoor bronze statue – the Giant Buddha.  There were more tourists present than suggested by the photo.

Smaller buddha at the foot of the Giant.
Smaller buddha at the foot of the Giant.

Above,  the same Buddha statue that I photographed very differently,  so many years ago.

Buddha with offering
Buddha with offering
Same statue as the previous image, different perspective
Same statue as the previous image, different perspective
Shrouded in fog, the Giant Buddha
Shrouded in fog, the Giant Buddha
Almost silhouetted, Giant Buddha in fog.
Almost silhouetted, Giant Buddha in fog.

Difficult to know just how to best photograph some of these scenes with the lighting conditions as they were.   I made a point of exposing to the right to record as much information as possible in the RAW files and then in processing pulling the exposure back down to give a realistic interpretation of the scene.

My normal practice is to give a touch of extra colour saturation,  vibrance and clarity to my colour images.   In the case of these Buddha statue photos,  I zeroed out those values as the actual scenes were soft and almost monochromatic anyway.

Burning incense, Po Lin Monastery.
Burning incense, Po Lin Monastery.

Finally,  one of my favorite images from the day.   Incense sticks burning in a cauldron in the plaza leading to the Po Lin Monastery.   The misty conditions rendered any people in the scene as ghostly shadows.   You can use your own imagination to create metaphors if you wish.  :-)   ~KD.